Union Jack India Pale Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Union Jack India Pale AleUnion Jack India Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,217 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,217
Hads: 5,894
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 8.02%
Wants: 435
Gots: 1,096 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beerguy101 on 10-09-2003

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,217 | Hads: 5,894
Photo of jjboesen
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This review is based on a delicious quaff experienced at the equally delicious Max’s Taphouse during Baltimore Beer Week 2010.

This one pours out a sleek looking glass of translucent copper liquid that easily reflects the lights flickering over the bar. The head is thin and somewhat filmy and the lacing is minimal throughout.

While the nose receives some gentle whiffs of green apple, the palate is working on mild grapefruit undertones that slide into a sweet finish.

Strangely enough, I thought the mouthfeel to be lacking for this style; it came off as a bit like a lager: crisp with malty notes. The Union Jack is difficult to peg; it is an interesting rendition that offers a few tweaks and surprises, yet, nevertheless, makes for a pleasant experience.

Being on the East Coast, and fated to a dreary existence in the People’s Republic of Maryland, I do not get ready access to this fine West Coast brewer; however, their beers do intrigue me (See my review for “Double Jack”) and make me lust for more. (1,025 characters)

Photo of Stevem68
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden color. Nice aromatics and a smooth drink. Has a really nice taste. Hops up front that linger on to a nice aftertaste. Overall a really nice beer (164 characters)

Photo of kenito799
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

20 oz pour at Yard House San Diego

Amber brew with nice tan head, copious gorgeous lacing left with each sip. The aroma is perfect classic super hoppy IPA, citrus grapefruit pine scents coming in waves. The bitterness is forceful but not astringent or overwhelming, balanced nicely. An excellent IPA. (301 characters)

Photo of KMcG
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured with an off-white head that flattened quickly to lace. The beer is asleep golden color with a slight orange hue. 

The aroma is floral, piney, and quite strong. 

The hop flavor that jumps out at you is orange rind.  The balance of the sweetness of the malts and bright clean hops make this one so drinkable. 

The mouthfeel is clean, full on IPA, and has nice carbonation.  (386 characters)

Photo of jtingue
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance. Clear orange hued straw in color. Pours with 3 fingers of loose, but solid white head, which dissipates rather quickly leaving tons of large clumps of lacing. Few bubbles rise up from the bottom of the glass. The lacing doesn't stick around for long though. Almost no long term head retention.

Smell. Totally hop forward. A piny citrus is the most dominant scent.

Taste. Starts out with a moderate, slightly resinous bitterness, which is joined by a juicy grapefruit. After this the hops become predominately more resinous and piney. The bitterness takes over for a bit and the beer takes on a more spicy character. It really starts to dry out after the grapefruit exits, all leading into a bone dry, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel. Very light in body, with a ton of dryness, as stated before. Light, but pleasant carbonation.

An insanely drinkable and complex hop monster. The dryness and overall presentation of flavors is reminiscent of a champagne, though not in terms of carbonation. Firestone Walker never disappoints. (1,067 characters)

Photo of mcslain
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with modest white head and is a surprisingly pale ale like gold. Hints of red shine through, but this is a light and clear looking brew.
Nose is good, you can smell grapefruit hops and the promise of some alcohol.
Taste is light, crisp, full of grapefruit and citrus hops. Some pineapple and tropical fruit, but make no mistake, primarily grapefruit. The hops taste is not the smack you in the face double IPA variety however. The beer is so light malt wise that it allows the hops that are there to really shine. Yet it remains balanced. This is exactly what I aim for when I make home brew.
Mouth and carbonation are perfect for this beer. I hate to say its a hop delivery system, because this beer isn't a hop bomb. But everything is clearly set up for the hops. Just a really well made beer. Goes onto my 'search out and purchase when seen' list. (858 characters)

Photo of gopens44
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A touch darker than straw colored, but still in the ballpark. A good 1" of foamy head with awesome retention.

S - Citrus, earthy, bold and no nonsense!

T - Not too bitter, a little sweet and a ton of grapefruit. Again, this is a no nonsense IPA that is everything that is good about an IPA

M - Creamy with low carbonation. A slight bit dry and no discernible aftertaste.

I may have found my favorite IPA! This creation is just splendid. Sad that it took me a while to discover it, but now that I have, it'll be in my fridge early and often! (548 characters)

Photo of mntlover
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden amber color with a nice fluffy white head that falls slowly and leaves gobs of lace down my pint.

Aroma is nice bready malts lightly sweet loaded with big fruity citrus hops. Nice aroma actually more fruity then bitter smelling but very enjoyable.

Taste is like the aroma nice citrus fruits riding on a bready malt base, big and favorable. Hops impart good fruity notes but leave middle of the road lingering bitterness that is grapefruit rind mingle with pine resin. Very nice clean favorable IPA without going over board on huge bitterness. Easy drinking goes down smooth doesn't seem like 7.5% brew.

Mouthfeel is bigger side of medium with nice smooth carbonation that greatly adds the the enjoyment of this beer.

Overall a very good example of the style, not mind blowing in any aspect but very well made everything seems just where it should be. Not sure what I paid for this but if its reasonable I could see adding this to my regular IPA rotation. (979 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from fogdog courtesy of the 2009 Secret Bunny BIF, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color, with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of floral hops, fruity citrus and light caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts with a strong burst of piney hops. There's a mild sweetness of citrus and caramel. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, this is a very solid IPA that is well-worth drinking for a whole evening. (846 characters)

Photo of obrike
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at Homefield Grill in Round Rock...got a free Firestone Walker pint glass to boot!

Slightly hazy pale orange with a one finger thing white head. Retention was decent and there was a bit of spider web lacing.

Getting a ton of grapefruit, citrus, and tropical hop aromas. There's a bit of sugary malt as well, but the fresh hops dominate. Smells incredible.

Taste follows scent perfectly. Fresh grapefruit balances well with the sweet biscuity malt. A bit of a sticky feel too... medium carbonation...almost feels more like a DIPA. The finish is long bitter and very dry. Easily one of the best IPA's I've ever had.

So very thankful to have this one in Texas. It will be a staple of mine. (710 characters)

Photo of IPA1978
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- crystal clear copper in color two finger head with good lacing

S- dried apricot, grapefruit, pineapple

T- big grapefruit, tropical fruits and piney hop oil/resin that coats your mouth with a wonderful bitterness that lingers followed by a nice sweet malt background. The alcohol hides itself well and is very sneaky ...sublime.

M- silky smooth with fine carbonation and a resiny feel.

O- One of the best tasting IPA's I've had. Hop heads will geek out. (460 characters)

Photo of engagechad
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased as a single from Wine and Beer Westpark in Glen Allen, VA - poured into pint

Pours a nice gold amber with decent head and good lacing. Smells awesome, dank like a two hearted. earthy and pungent in a good way. Taste follows very well, this is a meaty IPA, just good body to it.

I loved this IPA and would buy a case of it (334 characters)

Photo of zeledonia
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to wsucoug96 for the extra!

Pours a very clear light orange color, vibrant and bright. One finger of orange-tinted whitish head, fades pretty fast, but leaves nice lacing. Not bad.

Smell is absolutely delightful. Full of juicy piney hops and grapefruit, with a lovely warmth that fills in the rough edges. A perfect balance of zip and mellow.

This is yummy. Again, it's really well balanced, with the pine resin and bitterness of the hops just poking their heads through the velvet curtain of rich malty goodness. Okay, they burst through the curtain, but they're always well supported by those robust pale malts, which don't really bring much flavor, but fill in the space that's empty in so many IPAs.

Medium-bodied, sticky and juicy like a DIPA. Long finish, holding onto that soft juicy bitterness.

This is simply a top-notch IPA, hop-forward but balanced at the same time. Definitely straddles the line between single and double, with its high ABV and hefty malt presence. But whatever it is, I like it. I've been thoroughly impressed with Firestone Walker's big beers, and I'm impressed with this one, too. (1,124 characters)

Photo of TVolt1
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Light lemony-yellow/orange color to it. A little cloudy but good small amount of white head compliments the light color of this beer.

S: Initial hints of grapefruit and lemon. Smells very refreshing with a nice hop aroma. It starts with a more fruity hop smell and ends with a little bit of floral hop undertones. I am excited to try this beer!

T: Mmm very good! More lemon taste than anything. Pretty piney hop flavor so I get more floral hops than fruity hops in the taste. Nothing overpowering or off. Very smooth and easy to drink IPA. Also get a caramel note.

M: Smooth, medium carbonation.

O: Overall, this is a great beer. I would recommend it and would buy again. My husband got this beer on Beer It Forward from a gal in Brooklyn. Great choice and a beer we cannot get in MN. (791 characters)

Photo of paulozanello
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper clear color with a tan head with moderate retention and amazing lacing

Aroma is citrus, piney and resinous hops with a touch of floral.

Taste is hops and mores hops. I'm sure the malt is there to balance but the hops are so juicy that they overcome everything.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with medium to low carbonation. Dry astringent finish as it should be.

No doubt one of the finest American IPAs out there! Brynildson is indeed the hop master (470 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a caramel-straw color. There’s a floral, piney aroma with some malt to it. Tastes delicious, with pine and floral hops, grapefruit and citrusy essential oils. Bit of a chewiness gives it some heft and a tongue-curling bitter finish. I liked it. (257 characters)

Photo of kbutler1
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Recieved this as an extra in a trade.
Pours a nice golden, orange hued color with a nice head. Already having good lacing as I type.
Strong hop smell but also a malty sweetness to go along with it. This is an incredibly balanced beer in my opinion. The hops hit you but not too harshly. Smooth transition to a slight bitterness at the end.
I was very pleased with this one. Granted I can't tell an age on it, but I give it high marks for being so well balanced! (462 characters)

Photo of intensify
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful amber, gold body held a decent 1 finger head for a fair amount of time. Plenty of lacing even in the Tulip that I poured it into.

S- Hop explosion. A variety of hops were used and its noticable. Followed closely by apricot and some earthyness. Also, a touch of biscuit, crackers.

T- On cue with the smell. This is for the hop heads out there.

M- Medium bodied, coats the palate, low carbonation and easy to drink.

O- Union Jack is probably not a beginners IPA and if you like a crisp, hoppy taste then this will shine for you. At 7.5% abv the alcohol is barely present. A keeper. (593 characters)

Photo of CharlesRiver
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown, stubby bottle that is capped. Pours out a golden yellow with a pillow fluffy white head that lasts. Not as many bubbles coming up to the top with this one. Smell is amazing! Tons of citrus and grassy hops coming through. Grapefruit and lemon are more up front.

Taste is all hops. Again, that dry drinkability comes through and leaves you wanting more. Lemon, orange, spice, moss and some real dank notes make this one very complex IPA.

Once again, I am very impressed with a FW beer. Precise and on point are the best way I can describe their brews. (565 characters)

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a crystal clear amber color from a 12 oz bottle with ABV and freshness date on the label and bottle respectively.
Amazing hop dominant aroma the moment I cracked the bottle open. Citrus, pine, with some floral hops and surprisingly some notes of anise (had an ouzo like feel) and hints of bready malts.
Taste is just the perfect balance my palate likes when I think of an american IPA. The hop dominance is perfectly balanced by the hops making sure it does not feel too overpowered by the hops, but at the same time makes you realize this is a hop-loaded IPA.
I have had this previously on tap, and I must say there is almost no difference between the two. The only difference I could think of is perhaps the shade of the bottled version is a tad lighter than the tapper version. But that could be due to factors pertaining to light. All in all, I think this is a fantastic IPA, another winner from the west coast. Definitely worth a try and highly recommended if you are a hop-head. (994 characters)

Photo of rapidsequence
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Almost perfectly clear orange copper, just the slightest haze. I poured a little hard and left an enormous head with pretty good retention and some sticky lacing. No, glass destroying lacing-- I'll have to scrub this one.

Smell: This is just a damn fine hoppy smelling beer. Bitter and sweet citrus with orange, pineapple, and grapefruit. There's pine and some sticky bud too. Westside. A little caramel malt sweetness too. Not overpowering, just a solid and balanced IPA.

Taste: As good as the smell. Resiny, piney, and bitter grapefruit more than sweet citrus hops flavor. Bitter, but "balanced" by a tasty and complex tasting maltiness-- not just caramel, but a spicy, slightly toasty malt flavor.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, and on the full side for an IPA, although this is on the big side for a regular IPA, so thats not too surprising. Good carbonation. Resiny finish.

Drinkability: Just fantastic. Its a little on the pricey side, at least here on the east coast, but at least its available. I'll be buying this one over and over. (1,061 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is clearly a West Coast IPA and a good one at that.

Light Amber to dark gold in color with a really nice 2 ½ (or 3) finger head that had some nice substance. Some decent lacing. Beer had only the slightest haze and showed almost no carbonation. A good looking IPA.

Aroma was big on the citrus & grapefruit notes. Very fresh and pleasing. I also noticed that it maintained its punch while you drank the entire beer. Some others have their aroma fade quite quickly.

Big bold grapefruit hop flavor is showcased. However there is a nice balance and a subtle sweetness that counteracts the assertive hops. A nice spiciness is always just beneath the surface and always adding complexity to the flavor. As the beers warms slightly you can really detect a nice caramel flavor with some cracker notes and grain to go along with it. Lots going on here.

Medium mouth feel with respect to thickness, but big mouth feel based on flavor and hop bitterness. Slightly creamy and smooth.

Extremely drinkable in my book. One that leaves you wanting for more. Glad I did have 2 in my fridge. (1,084 characters)

Photo of brendan13
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear orange hued golden colour with 2cm white head that falls fairly fast. Plenty lacing.
S - Piney, citrus fruit & floral hop notes with a light toasted bread malt touch.
T - Very nice citrus fruit, piney taste balanced by a bit of toasted bread malt.
M - Lighter side of medium bodied. Slightly sticky with a lingering bitterness.
D - A very nice IPA. Something I'd drink often. (385 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Honey with a large splash of orange juice. The head is polished ivory in color and features loads of sticky bubbles on its upper surface. As those bubbles burst, they leave a delicate array of lace-like lace all over the upper reaches of the glass. A classic look.

And an outstanding nose! There goes any thought that Union Jack is an English IPA. So why the name? The hop bill (Simcoe, Centennial, Cascade, Columbus) is 100% American and the sheer amount of hoppiness is AIPA all the way. Talk about a fantastically bright, perfectly pungent, fresh hop-like nose. Prediction: this is going to be great beer.

That was way too easy. As expected, Union Jack is full-to-bursting with C-hop goodness. Can't forget the Simcoe (S-hop), since they give the flavor profile a distinctly tropical vibe that adds yet another dimension. Killer hop bill. Absolutely killer. It's also nice to see that the brewery didn't allow the little green cones to outpace their malt support.

There's just enough of a barely toasted, caramel maltiness (think SN Celebration Ale) to let the drinker know that hops aren't the only ingredient that's allowed to provide flavor. The good thing is that the caramel doesn't get in the way of the grapefruit, bitter orange and pineapple explosion. 72 IBUs seems about right, but they're a friendly 72.

The mouthfeel stays well within the bounds of the IPA style. Any bigger and it wouldn't work as well. It's as smooth as glass and is lightly creamy in the bargain. Soft-edged carbonation is pretty much perfect.

Firestone Walker Brewing Co. has another winner with Union Jack India Pale Ale. Forget the British flag, though. This beer is Stars And Stripes Forever and is proud of it. I could (and would) drink this stuff by the case if it was available locally. (1,783 characters)

Photo of Viciousknishs
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Asked waitress at Taphouse in Ghent to bring me something hoppy. I was pleasantly surprised with this gem of an IPA. Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle.

A- Beautiful copper amber color sloshes into the glass. Nice white head with some amazing lacing. I'm talking all the way down to the bottom of the glass!

S- Tons of grapefruit and citrus dipped pine going on. A little bit of a spicy floral note. Surprisingly pungent with hop resin to boot. Sweet caramel malt to round things off. Couldn't wait to take my first sip!

T- Bittered with Warrior and Simcoe hops according to the brewers website. The taste falls in line with what you would expect. Hoppy bitterness unfolds into grapefruit, citrus zest and pine paired with a great subdued sweet biscuity malt characteristic. This almost DIPA conceals it 7.5% ABV beautifully.

M- Crisp and clean with a great dry finish.

D- Love the pungent juicy bitter flavor that cascades into the dry finish. Always makes me want to drink more. Union Jack has a very high drinkability. (1,039 characters)

Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,217 ratings.